It is always a concern when a new writer takes on a known (and beloved) series. Although I didn’t read all of the Robert B. Parker Jesse Stone novels, I was a huge fan of the Spenser series. I was therefore happy that Michael Brandman’s take on Jesse Stone was quite a smooth transition. In some ways, it seemed too simplistic — I feel like I zipped through two entirely different story lines. And yet that was part of Parker’s gift, wasn’t it? So even though it wasn’t the weightiest of novels, it was more than enough to hold my attention. And I didn’t feel that I was shortchanged in any way. The characters were intriguing, there were complex emotions involved, and the dialogue was, I would say, trademark Parker, humor and all.

There was one false note for me — I couldn’t entirely see Jesse Stone turning a blind eye entirely to something that happened at the very end of the book, but it didn’t detract enough from my enjoyment of the book.